Chandigarh: Over 70 students of the Government Meritorious School in Punjab’s district Sangrur district were hospitalised following suspected food poisoning since Friday night.
Taking a serious note of the incident, the state government has got the mess contractor Maninder Singh and mess manager Parminder Singh, arrested and suspended the school principal Munish Mohan.
Severe food poisoning
The incident came to light after parents of several students began to rush to the Government Meritorious School - a residential school, village Ghabdan, district Sangrur, after they were telephonically informed by their wards that they had fallen sick after having dinner at the hostel mess. They complained of severe stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea and restlessness.
According to information, while about 18 students were admitted to the district civil hospital Friday night, more than 50 were admitted Saturday morning. Stating that while about 60 students had been discharged by the evening after treatment, the remaining about 10 students were still admitted at the hospital. The condition of all the students was said to be stable.
The school and district authorities who had got the students rushed to the local government hospital said that the mess contractor, who owned a hotel in Muktsar and manager had been arrested and his contract suspended, the principal had also been suspended for allegedly ignoring the students’ complaints and not even apprising the district education officials about it.
Stating that a three-day holiday was declared so as to refill all mess items and provisions afresh, they also said that an inquiry headed by the local sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) had also been formed to conduct a thorough probe.
Unhygienic food being served in schools
Meanwhile, reacting to the incident, state education minister Harjot Bains said that it was learned that the students had been complaining about bad meals for the past several days yet their complaints were not given a proper heed. Stating that this issue would also be probed into, he said that the guilty would not be spared.
It may be recalled that there are 10 Meritorious Residential Schools in Punjab that enrol students for classes XI and XII and are run through Society for Promotion of Quality Education for Poor and Meritorious Students in the state. This particular school has a strength of about 900 students. These schools offer free education, accommodation, food, uniforms and books to the students.